One conductor’s conduct
Gustavo Dudamel told The Times that he is “an artist, not a politician” [“Out of Sync on Venezuela,” May 31]. So what does an artist do in a brutal, repressive and authoritarian regime? Can he or she honestly claim that he or she is above politics?
That was the dilemma of Wilhelm Furtwangler (1886-1954), one of the great conductors of the 20th century. He was at the height of his career when the Nazis came to power. And then, while many of his fellow artists decided to leave Germany as an act of protest, Maestro Furtwangler decided to remain there. Mr. Dudamel must accept that freedom, democracy and human rights are above politics. There is no other way. Raul De Cardenas Los Angeles